While reading this week’s Torah portion again this morning, a little word caught my eye!! The revelation, however, was not so little!
Yeshua, speaking of the latter days, in Matthew 24, says,
29 “But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. 31 And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.
Pay very special attention to the bold and underlined words above as we look at a few verses in Deuteronomy 30,
30 “So it shall be when all of these things have come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you cause them to come to mind in all nations where the Lord your God has banished you, 2 and you return to the Lord your God and obey Him [lit. ‘listen to His voice] with all your heart and soul according to all that I command you today, you and your sons, 3 then the Lord your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you, and will gather you again from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you. 4 If your outcasts are at the ends of the sky, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you [lit. ‘take you’] back. 5 The Lord your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers.
Fireworks went off in my head!! Another great example of unraveling perplexing ‘new Testament’ verses with the foundational truths of the Torah!
Before pointing out some very significant qualifiers in the Deuteronomy passage, I want to share a few things I found doing a little digging on ‘gather,’ from the Hebrew קבץ /qabats.
Consider Zechariah 10,
6 “I will strengthen the house of Judah,
And I will save the house of Joseph,
And I will bring them back,
Because I have had compassion on them;
And they will be as though I had not rejected them,
For I am the Lord their God and I will answer them.
7 “Ephraim will be like a mighty man,
And their heart will be glad as if from wine;
Indeed, their children will see it and be glad,
Their heart will rejoice in the Lord.
8 “I will whistle for them to gather them together,
For I have redeemed them;
And they will be as numerous as they were before.
9 “When I scatter them among the peoples,
They will remember Me in far countries,
And they with their children will live and come back.
10 “I will bring them back from the land of Egypt
And gather them from Assyria;
And I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon
Until no room can be found for them.
Judah gets strengthened (because they are already in the Land) and Joseph gets saved (because they are still among the nations / in Egypt-Babylon). Notice, just like the Deuteronomy passage, they ‘remember Me in far countries’ and then return. So many return that they fill up Gilead and Lebanon (and Jordan, and… all the territory promised to Abraham).
It is interesting to note that in Matthew 13:24-30, Yeshua refers to this gathering as collecting wheat. The rule of first mention finds Joseph (a picture of Messiah), in Egypt, gathering קבץ wheat into the barns before the time of Jacob’s trouble!! See Genesis 41:35ff.
There are many other relevant examples of ‘qabats’/ gathering as related to the assembling from the nations of God’s people. See these verses and their surrounding context: Isaiah 56:8; 45:20; 60:7 and Ezekiel 28:25 to name a few.
Understanding the connection between Matthew 24 and the gathering of the the chosen ones that is promised in Deuteronomy 30:3 & 4, we need to consider what the traits of those gathered are according to Deuteronomy 30. Here are a few snippets from that chapter,
- you return to the Lord your God and obey Him [lit. ‘listen to His voice] with all your heart and soul according to all that I command you today, you and your sons, 3 then the Lord your God will restore you
- v.8… you shall again obey the Lord, and observe all His commandments which I command you today.
- v.9-10…Lord will again rejoice over you for good, just as He rejoiced over your fathers; 10 if you obey the Lord your God to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this book of the law (Torah), if you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and soul.
- v. 14 …observe it (Torah)…
- v.16…I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live
- v. 19… choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, 20 by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days,
Clearly, those who are gathered are expected to do what their fathers did not…. obey and keep! And, Deuteronomy says that the keeping begins in the nations before they are gathered!!
As an aside:
I was speaking a week or two ago to my good friend, Al McCarn, of The Barking Fox blog and author of Give Me A Place Where I May Dwell. Part of our discussion was dealing with the timing of the return oft prophesied in Scripture. Honestly, some Scriptures point to post tribulation, as the Matthew 24 passage does, but others seem to indicate a possible return of some before, or at the time of the Messiah’s coming.
Isaiah 66:18ff. After the judgment, some of the survivors in Israel will be sent to the nations and ‘they shall bring all your brethren from all the nations….’ Matthew 24 says the ones sent are ‘angels,’ but the Isaiah passage seems to indicate they are human. So, I related to Al that I had to look up the word behind ‘angels’ in Matthew 24 and see if there were variants that fit this other prophecy better. And, guess what? The Greek ἄγγελος
aggelos, can mean a human messenger.
Maybe, the ones doing the gathering are not angels in the sense that we have been taught, but rather are human survivors who were in the Land to witness all that transpired?
Hmmm…. (If there is an early return, I sure hope to be part of it!! I want to see with my own eyes, the coming of the King!)
Another quick thought, since we are on the topic, this gathering happens on Yom Teruah/Rosh Hashana, the Day of Trumpets. Tomorrow evening, by some calendars, is the beginning of Yom Teruah! We watch with expectation!
In Judaism, they refer to this time period as the Geulah, which takes place before the Messiah comes.
I’d love to understand and evaluate how they come to that conclusion. In a recent post, the comments were pretty spirited over timing with lots of Scripture seeming to point to it happening after… https://natsab.com/2015/08/19/prophecy-at-breathtaking-speed/#comments
If you have/can share a solid alternate perspective, I’d be interested in hearing it.
Many rabbis I have studied, point to Ezekiel 38, the details in that chapter define the scenario.
Ezekiel 38 is understood to be after the Geulah happens, a few clues in the chapter tell us this, but also a time period Israel has not seen yet.
1) Ezekiel 38:8 describes the time period and the situation at the time.
After many days you will be summoned; in the latter years you will come into the land that is restored from the sword, whose inhabitants have been gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel which had been a continual waste; but its people were brought out from the nations, and they are living securely, all of them. You will go up, you will come like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land, you and all your troops, and many peoples with you.”
Some thought this occurred at the restoration of the nation of Israel in 1948, but verse 8 tells us that “they are living securely, all of them.” Which is not true of today, Israel is far from living securely. Israel also does not posses the mountains of Israel yet, usually in reference to the West Bank territories.
2) In Ezekiel 38:10-11 describes Israel dwelling in safety.
“…the land of unwalled villages. I will go against those who are at rest, that live securely, all of them living without walls and having no bars or gates…”
This does not in the least describe Israel today, not even close, Israel today is full of walled kibbutzim, a great wall separating itself from the West Bank, and border walls to all surrounding nations. They are not living securely.
3) In Ezekiel 38:16, describes the timing.
It shall come about in the last days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me when I am sanctified through you before their eyes, O Gog.”
This happens in the last days, and it happens before the Messianic Kingdom, so that the nations will know Him, in the Messianic Kingdom all will know Him, so this is prior.
4) In Ezekiel 38:18-23, we read of judgement day coming.
18-19 It will come about on that day, when Gog comes against the land of Israel,” declares the Lord God, “that My fury will mount up in My anger. In My zeal and in My blazing wrath I declare that on that day there will surely be a great earthquake in the land of Israel.
We know other references of this great earthquake in Zech 14 where the people are fleeing through the mountains, just before the great earthquake. Zech 14 is considered to be describing the day of the Lord or day of Judgement, thus all of these things occur prior to the day of the Lord. Haggai 6:2-7 has the exact same language as Ezekiel 38:20.
The Geulah comes first, Israel will dwell safely in their land, without walls and borders, they will possess the West Bank, they will be extremely wealthy, the nations will come to attack and God will make His name known in all the world, which occurs during the day of judgement or the day of the Lord. Until we see these things happen, the Messiah will not be coming yet, there will probably be some false ones to come as the scriptures warn us of, but not the real one. Just assuming here, but for most of this to occur in my opinion, it would seem a major war is coming for Israel, as a result, Israel will eventually win and recover all of their land, I have heard one Rabbi state that he believes this will occur after Israel is once again exiled out of their land, only then, to shortly be brought back in, as a result of a war. And of course all of this could possibly not even happen in our life time.
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How does Isaiah the 11th chapter, for one place, fit into this when it clearly states Messiah comes first (wolf and lamb live together), judges the nation’s and strikes the wicked with the “rod of His mouth and breath of His lips”, and then in that day gathers both Judah and Ephraim from the nation’s a”second time”. Nothing I can find in scripture that says one preceeds the other and the predecessor is the door keeper deciding who gets in and who doesn’t. I was under the understanding, that was Messiah’s job. I’m not trying to be contentious or anything like that. Just trying to understand. So much of the current picture doesn’t fit prophecy. It’s obvious Messiah is not ruling, the land is only a portion of its prophesied territory (and split at that), the state supports murder of the unborn, the sodomite is not only tolerated, but allowed to be brazen, Torah is not the law of the land, etc… There’s even a Jewish run pig farm there (http://forward.com/news/13245/on-israel-s-only-jewish-run-pig-farm-it-s-the-01742/). Could this be as prophesied in Isaiah 65 &66 the state of things before the wrath of Yehovah is poured out and He brings those from the nation’s to choose for Himself who will be priests and Levites unto Him? I don’t see any reference to a council of nations needed, asked or authorizing His establishment of such. Is it possible the current state of things is to “flesh” out the wickedness and a means to gather the nation’s in one place to judge the entire thing Israel included)? To me, at least, it would seem so. Are there wonderful people currently desiring Messiah, would love to see Torah as a nation’s constitution, love Yehovah with all their heart? If course there are. The same could be said of many nations on the earth today. Personally, I long for the day Messiah comes and shakes out the wrinkles of this whole thing, established His rule and calls His people to a place where Torah is the law of the land and the streets are so safe children can play by the asps den, where the cow and the bear feed together and their offspring enjoy each other’s company. Come quickly Yeshua!!
The reality is that Sarah was barren, but I’m guessing she and Abraham kept trying, and not just for the entertainment. Human agency is a major component of all fulfilled prophecy, though nothing happens until Abba is ready for it to.
Rather than sitting on our hands and denigrating the present state that is an obvious fulfillment of prophecy with the clear hand of Yehovah involved, I suggest we do what we can to repair the divide expecting Abba to cause/allow that which is within His will. I fully expect judgment and cleansing of the land, but I also see the hand of our Father in the events surrounding us and what I have been a part of. Like Abraham and Sarah, we do what we can do and look for Him to answer when He is ready.
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Brother, I was not degenerating anyone or anything. It just seems we, far too often in a desire to see something happen, try to make it happen ourselves. No one knows that better than Abraham and Sarah. They to tried to work out the plan in the strength of human reason and resource. One has to ask, how did that work out. One also has to understand that Ishmael had to be part of the will of Yehovah or it simply wouldn’t have happened. After all Ishmael, was circumcised and received a blessing as well and was saved by angelic intervention. Could Paul have spoken of such in his day in Galatians the 4th chapter? I find the scenario in Joshua the 10th chapter very fascinating personally. It’s in the book of Joshua we also see and interesting picture of “Shiloh”. Might be worth a closer look. Believe me, I am most certainly not antagonistic concerning Judah. I am simply trying to find the truth in all of this so I see clearly. How else are we to walk in truth if we don’t apply the the full balance of scriptures, in context, to find out what is going on? I would think the law giver in Judah would seek this. Does it seem even reasonable that the restoration of the kingdom begins with a wholesale repentance from both Judah and Ephraim? One has to ask, is that repentance happening across the board? I sincerely hope so. From my view, admittingly limited, I just don’t see it yet. Even within Messianic Judaism I still hear much more preaching of the sages than actual scripture by many. When that day.of wholesale repentance comes and we can join in prayer together seeking the face of Yehovah together, proclaiming we have inherited lies from our forefathers (traditions of the elders both Babylonian Talmudic and Roman Catholic Reform Theology?) we will truly be one family, one Israel, echad.
Please don’t stone me. 🙂 As an “out-of-the-boxer” I lean toward Yeshua’s return until the end of the millennium. However, I believe that His presence in us will be like it never as been or the world has ever seen. Even greater than the exploits of our first century brothers! I agree totally in the rest of your scenario. In fact, earlier in the verse in Matthew 24 something caught my attention like you were seeing. Verse 14, “The Good News will be preached into the whole world as a testimony to the nations, and then the end will come.” What Good News and what end? The Good News of a restored kingdom and the end of the exile will come! Love your scenario Pete and the understanding that these messengers are human messengers. He is revealing to each of us a lot of awesome stuff!
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Very good article….will be sharing!
Zion said “We know other references of this great earthquake in Zech 14 where the people are fleeing through the mountains, just before the great earthquake. Zech 14 is considered to be describing the day of the Lord or day of Judgement, thus all of these things occur prior to the day of the Lord. Haggai 6:2-7 has the exact same language as Ezekiel 38:20.”
Could this be what’s foretold in Revelation 11:1-13?
Zion also made the statement “The Geulah comes first, Israel will dwell safely in their land, without walls and borders, they will possess the West Bank, they will be extremely wealthy, the nations will come to attack and God will make His name known in all the world, which occurs during the day of judgement or the day of the Lord. ”
I too have been coming to a similar conclusion. Don’t pick up rocks yet but it appears the one who suits on seven hills is in fact an apostate Jerusalem and not Rome as many believe. If she is the mystery Babylon (where the blood of the saints and prophets is), she will once again have to rise to a world economic superpower as in the days of Solomon. Hence the illusion to him and the beast system (Revelation 13:18 and 1 Kings 10:14). If this is correct, we may be a while out before the fulfillment of all things. Just an opinion though. Time will tell.
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Since we are throwing around opinions, I will propose what I think could possibly be happening in the next 10 years, although I cringe doing this, because I am so tired of hearing all the conspiracy theories, its just a waste of time, the bible clearly tells us what must take place before these events come to pass, and we simply have not seen many of them, at least what I would consider major events, but we hear and see a lot of people making dates and conspiracy claims.
With that said, I think we are on the verge of a major event in history, like a potential WW3 scenario or an economic collapse (not the end or the last days, not in human terms, I believe we have a long time to go for what Yeshua describes to us), which will change the world as we know it (I think we are being told this plainly, all over the news, although it may just be rumors), which could lead to what we read in Daniel and Revelation, which is the World Kingdom that will devour the entire earth (International Government) ruled by 10 kings. All that said, this is going to take time, assuming this is even going to happen in our life time. I think, if the Geulah happens in the next 10 years, Israel will continue to dwell in the land for at least 30+ years, maybe another 70, before the big events of Revelation would even take place, and even more specifically, the Day of the Lord, thus 30+ years before we would ever see a Gog and Magog war. That said, we are talking a large space of time, that may even span more than one generation.
Now I want to refer back to timing and Ezekiel’s prophecies, in Ezekiel 36, the enemies are claiming they own the high places of Israel, and it makes reference to the mountains of Israel, also referenced in other scriptures, as Samaria, the current day “West Bank”. Which is what we see today, the enemies of Israel, possess the mountains of Israel, the West Bank, which belong to Israel, current day Israel does not possess these places and yet prophecy says they will possess this area, so until that happens (hopefully in our lifetime Israel will possess all the land that rightfully belongs to them), again we can’t have the other events first, the Geulah must come first, at least how I understand it. We read that in Ezekiel 36, 37 and 38, Israel will acquire the West Bank, it becomes their territory again and they will dwell there, rebuilding the cities and planting farms and vineyards. So then the question after they acquire the Mountains of Israel, the West bank, how long would they dwell there until the Gog and Magog event, or the other major events in Revelation, who knows, maybe 30 years, maybe 100, maybe more?
Only time will really tell what will happen, we can only speculate until that time comes, and it may not even come in our lifetime, just hopeful thinking, I would love for the Lord to come back quickly, but it may not be in our time.
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While I agree that much yet has to happen, I tend to think it can all happen very quickly. The planet is teetering and global leaders have been conspiring for a long time. With the right circumstances (economic collapse) the final sudden shift could happen…
On another note, prophecy is rarely completely clear until hindsight… How much will our Father keep veiled until very late in the game?
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I agree anything is possible, however I think most people throughout time have thought everything was coming quicker than it really was. Many scholars agree, that Paul more than likely, based on his writings, thought the Messiah was coming back in his lifetime, he was only 2000+ years off. 😛
Even in 1948, when Israel became a nation, people were throwing around prophecies about the lord coming back within years of that happening, and look, Israel is now almost 70 years old (by 2018) and there is still so much that must come to pass. I think giving at least another 30+ years to the mix is even being a little hasty, only time will tell and until then the speculations will abound.
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Agreed, and understand, but technology is moving so fast that in 30 years we may be beyond humanity and into the synchronicity….
We’re already cloning, creating super soldiers, gene splicing, etc… Life is really, really gonna get weird if the Messiah waits very much longer.
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I am enjoying the exchange of views and the sense of genuine ‘seeking’ here – thanks to each of you participating in this discussion.
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